The Norman Transcript

Opinion

April 23, 2014

Embarrassment to Oklahoma, again

NORMAN — The standardized testing that was halted in local schools Monday is another embarrassment to the state. The same thing happened a year ago and Oklahoma gave them another chance.

The vendor, hired to administer the high-stakes tests, blamed more computer problems. In 2013, the company said a computer server delayed testing for two days. On Monday, the company said it was a computer hardware issue.

The problem impacted more than 1,000 Norman students. Statewide, it impacted more than 8,000 students.

Teachers had to scramble to come up with alternative lesson plans at both high schools and at the Norman district’s four middle schools.

Legislators are getting an earful about the testing problem from teachers and parents.

Many lawmakers don’t understand why the same company’s contract was renewed after last year’s testing problems. It’ll likely become a campaign issue in the hotly contested superintendent’s race.

Testing will resume and the company faces penalties and won’t likely be hired again, but the built-up anxiety remains. It may sound “old school,” but how about having paper and pencil back-up tests next time around?

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